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Advocating for those living with accessibility needs. Sharing experiences, raising awareness and understanding of how assistive accessible technology enhances and enables those in need.


No Sight, No Sound, No Social Media!

No Sight, No Sound, No Social Media!
Being born with a condition is very different to acquiring one, I have the experience of both! I was born deaf, hearing aids from 18 months old, audiology appointments, speech therapy and a specialist teacher of the deaf for support.  It was all I knew until I was 12 years old and it all worked very well.  It all changed when I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome. I was told I'd go blind but that it would be a gradual process, for me I went from perfect sight to registered blind in two years, I have been one of the unlucky ones. I was born with perfect sight and being deaf meant I used my eyes to compensate for my deafness. I relied on my eyes to lipread, to learn to speak, I could see facial and body gestures which helped me understand mood, happy, sad, angry.  Often when in...
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Technology is Me

Technology is Me
I was recently asked what technology I used before finding apple. I hadn't thought about it before and now I think of it it's strange that I found apple around the same time as being diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, the two seem to have gone hand in hand from the beginning of my Usher journey, perhaps it was fate! Before age 12 (diagnosis) and until about age 13 I had used a Nokia and a Motorola Pebble, I'd also played with my Dad's Blackberry, I really struggled and could only use the phone for text as it was impossible to hear on those mobiles, looking back now, thank goodness technology has moved on as there is no way I could possibly cope with any of those handsets as I couldn't see the tiny text on the screens, no such thing as zoom back then, although I do remember I could...
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6909 Hits

Access Illegally Denied - Guide Dog Owner Challenges

Access Illegally Denied - Guide Dog Owner Challenges
I am writing this particular blog through sheer frustration and a desire to make things change. I was matched with Unis when I was 16 and over the past 4 years have been subjected to terrible discrimination simply because people either do not follow the law or have no respect for it or people like myself. Denying guide dog owners access to the majority of places is illegal yet it goes on all the time, sadly I feel there is little support, I often feel very alone and unprotected by a society that often appears not to care. Only the other day a taxi was ordered and on mentioning I had Unis with me all of a sudden the company had no availability!  This is nothing rare, I've ordered a taxi before now and not mentioned Unis and been refused entry, no reason just NO! Almost a year ago I...
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13910 Hits

Let Me Be a Part

Let Me Be a Part
In a lot of my talks I often mention how grateful I am to have great family and friends. I could not imagine myself as a person without either, I really cannot. As I grew up I was very close to my parents and am lucky to have been well socialised. I have some amazing and happy memories, from days out to holidays. I always also looked forward to being with my friends at school. I have mentioned before I knew I was different pretty early on. Lots of my friends were walking to/ travelling to school independently, I was walked or was put in a taxi to get to school. I always had to leave the house with my friends to be assured of my safety or I would get my parents to drop me off exactly where I needed to be. Not being able to hear cars from...
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5934 Hits

Inaccessible Social Media Means Isolation

Inaccessible Social Media Means Isolation
Being diagnosed with a rare condition like Usher Syndrome is isolating. However, the Internet has been a lifeline for me. When times have been tough and I've needed a friend, an opinion, somebody going through similar to me I was able to look online and find a friend. It was so useful I was able to set up a group and find others with Usher Syndrome all around the world, also people with RP or deafness, we had somewhere to "meet" share experiences and support each other. When I look back I was lucky, my Mum had made quite an effort for me to meet others with the condition.  Online I realised so many people with Usher Syndrome had never met somebody else with the condition - the Internet and particularly, at that time Facebook brought people together, it was powerful for so many of us with Usher Syndrome and...
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7958 Hits